Release type: Joint Media Release


Northern Territory Skills Agreement


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training
Natasha Fyles
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Luke Gosling OAM, MLA
Member for Solomon

Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, Northern Territory Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles, and the Member for Solomon Luke Gosling, met in Darwin today to progress the National Skills Agreement.
Significant progress has been made and we are in the advanced stages of the 12 month Skills Agreement that will provide 180,000 fee free TAFE and vocational education places across all States and Territories from January 2023.  
The Northern Territory is facing significant and unique skills shortages that differ markedly from the rest of the nation.
According to the National Skills Commission’s 2022 Skills Priority List, the occupations in shortage in the NT but not in shortage national include Welfare, Recreation and Community Arts Workers; Occupational and Environment Health Professionals; and Delivery Drivers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor:
“I am pleased to be working with the Northern Territory to finalise an agreement on skills. The budget has made available $5.3 million for the Territory. Of this, $4.7 million will be provided for fee-free TAFE and vocational education places and support for students. A further $600,000 will be available for improving VET data systems.

“This agreement will address the skills gap in our economy and increase opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups, including First Nations people, women and people with disabilities.

“My visit to the Northern Territory is an important opportunity to meet with locals, employers, service providers and learners to understand the unique challenges they face.
“It follows a meeting of all Skills Ministers from all States and Territories, including the Territory Skills Minister Paul Kirby recently in Melbourne to progress a range of vocational education and training matters.
“It is important to remember that the Liberal National Government dopped the ball, and Australia is now experiencing a serious labour supply shortage and some of the most acute skills shortages of any country in the OECD.

“The Albanese Government is taking immediate action to address this crisis.  We will set the skills and training sector back on the right path to provide for a secure economy and bright future for all Australians.” 

Quotes attributable to NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles:
“The Northern Territory is bursting with opportunity. We have been listening to Territory businesses –they are saying business is good, and the economy is going in the right direction, but they need more workers.
“We are investing programs and grants which are attracting people to move the Territory. We are being proactive and working with industry. This is why we have invested $12.8 million into our workforce attraction fund. It was great to see $5.3 million allocated in the federal budget for the training of Territorians in the VET space.
“The Territory Government will continue to work with the Federal Government to progress the NT Skills Agreement.

Quotes attributable to Member for Solomon Luke Gosling
“We know Territory businesses have been doing it so tough over the past few years, and we’ve heard their calls loud and clear.
“That’s why we’re delivering this funding to our VET sector, to upskill Territory workers so they're as well equipped as possible to fill local jobs and keep our economy growing.
"I'm proud to be part of an Albanese Labor Government that understands the needs and potential of the Territory and is investing properly for the sustainable growth of our north."